Pond Health

Windmill-driven Aeration Systems Re-Establishes Pond Health

Wind-powered aeration system “oxygenates” water, preventing pond stagnation and stratification that threatens people, livestock, wildlife and property values.

Still pond waters can sometimes go bad. Just ask any pond owner who has watched their pond turn into a dark or green ugly mass of weeds and algae.

Problems of stagnation, stratification and harmful toxins are creating poisonous water conditions in ponds other non-free-flowing bodies waters throughout North America. This can be perilous to livestock, fish and other wildlife – not to mention humans. Real estate property values can also be affected negatively from a smelly and unsightly pond.

As discouraging as this may sound – it is equally as encouraging to discover, that many pond owners who manage or maintain a pond for agricultural, recreational or household use are restoring their water to health again by installing a relatively low-cost and extremely effective technology – the windmill-driven aeration system.

“If you have a sick pond or dugout, you know how frustrating and expensive it is to try to treat your way out of the problem,” says Miller, who owns a farm in Batavia, NY. “I got to the point where I was so tired of pouring in chemicals and raking algae that I wanted to fill in my pond and forget about it.”

Fortunately, for Miller, after years of band aid solutions that were both costly and time consuming with very little effect, he began to look research pond aeration rather than pond chemicals as a resolution to his water problems.

He found out that not only are chemical treatments such as copper sulfate expensive, but research shows that ponds treated with it over years begin to show diminished results. Further, this treatment method may be eliminated by stricter environmental rules governing its use in future years as people become more environmentally conscious.

Inducing oxygen through water circulation.

Two years ago Miller started to investigate the prospects of using aeration to oxygenate his pond while also providing circulation in order to avoid stagnation and thermal stratification of the water.

Miller became quite interested in a technology that used a windmill to compress air and pump it through one or more air diffusers, which were located at the bottom of a lake or pond.
This pumping action of the air permeating the water circulating at the bottom and bubbling to the top would cause the water to flow outward to the sides of the pond on top, thereby aerating through exposure to the atmosphere and circulating the water at the same time. Increased levels of oxygen were delivered to the pond, thermal stratification is reduced, and the pond would become healthier.

In essence the pond aeration acts as a natural filtration system, burning off excess nutrients and organic matter that facilitates the growth of algae and weeds. Clean, clear water also prevents odors and pests and inhibits the spread and growth of mosquito larvae that may be floating on a pond’s surface.

“I don’t think anyone disagrees that water aeration is highly beneficial to non free-flowing waters,” Miller says. “It is really a question of which technology is best for your application. In my case, since my pond had virtually become a cesspool, I figured that a windmill aeration system would be necessary to clean up my pond.”

While electric-powered aeration systems would no doubt do the job, Miller decided their operating and maintenance costs would be too expensive for him. Exploring the Internet he came upon the web site of Superior Windmill, which looked promising. He learned that farmers in the western states use this wind-driven aeration and circulation system to keep ponds clean so it is safe for cattle to drink from them.

“You don’t have to use any power to run them,” Miller says “Plus they are maintenance free.”

It turned out that Superior Windmill, headquartered in Regina (Saskatchewan), was a world leading developer of windmill aeration technology as well as a supplier of windmills and diffuser systems.